Empire State of Mind

    January 30, 2018

    If you follow me on Instagram, you know that this past weekend I went on a girls trip for my sister, Anne Marie’s 21st birthday with my mom. I had been to NYC once before in Middle School, but its a whole different world when you are older!

    We knew that there would be so many things we wanted to do in a short amount of time (Thursday afternoon arrival and Sunday morning departure) so we decided to make an itinerary of the major things we had planned or scheduled so we wouldn’t miss anything!

    I’ll give you a basic rundown of what we did, where we ate, where we stayed and what we want to do when we go back!





    My mom arranged for a car from the hotel to come pick us up from the airport. This was super convenient not having to worry about a taxi or an Uber. We stayed at The Lotte New York Palace which was incredibly beautiful and so nice. The Palace is on Madison Ave. so it was right in Midtown Manhattan. Rockefeller Plaza and Time Square were close by so we did a lot of walking and shopping just in that area. Our hotel room had a wonderful view of the city, we could see all of St. Patrick’s Cathedral across the street. So pretty.















    Our first stop once we checked into our hotel and changed out of our travel clothes was Rockefeller Plaza. It was so fun to watch people ice skate! We decided we wouldn’t injure ourselves so we went on to the first thing on our itinerary which was to go to the Top of the Rock. We bought our tickets in the car on the way to the hotel and reserved a time slot for 4:45.  I had read somewhere to visit right around sunset which turned out to be such a great recommendation! We were able to watch the sun set over the city and it was so beautiful.






    Here’s what to know about Top of The Rock, or at least in our experience. You will have to wait in lines. Maybe sunset is a popular time to go and that’s why it was so crowded, but we had to wait for probably 25 minutes from the time we got there to the time we actually got to the top. Having tickets definitely helps you skip the first line, but you will probably have to wait a while so just be prepared for that. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I mean look at those views!


    After that, we headed to Times Square which of course you just have to see at night. Thursday night was definitely the least crowded Times Square was in our whole time there.

    We walked to a restaurant called Ellen’s Stardust Diner which of course is a total tourist location but it was also a blast.

    Every waiter and waitress is trying to make it on Broadway, so they are also the entertainment. One minute our waiter was taking our order, and the next he was handed the mic and sang “I Want it That Way” by the Backstreet Boys for the whole place. And NAILED it.

    This continued the whole time we were there with every waiter or waitress, which made the atmosphere so much fun–it was a great first experience in NYC.

    The food is typical diner food so after a long day of traveling the burgers and fries do taste amazing. But you will still spend close to $100 on dinner for 3. Welcome to New York!


    The next morning we had a simple breakfast at our hotel (yes, still pricey, but good!) and then took an Uber to Wall Street.

    Dad had arranged through a family friend for us to tour the New York Stock Exchange on Friday morning which was actually really interesting. Apparently we had a great affect on the Stock Market that day!

    We then to and Uber to a restaurant in SoHo that we read about on a foodie blog, called Jack’s Wife Freda (the Carmine location.) We had to wait for about 10 minutes for a table but it was SO worth it. This brunch was one of my favorite meals of the trip!

    Mom ordered the Rosewater Waffle which was topped with Lebanese yogurt, and Anne Marie and I both had the Madame Freda (Pressed sandwich with duck prosciutto, cheddar béchamel, gruyere & a sunny side up egg OMGGG).

    We then went back to the hotel, changed out of our shoes (stock exchange has specific dress code requirements so we wanted to look nice!)

    We shopped around on 5th Ave. and in Times Square and then headed to dinner at an Italian restaurant our Uber driver recommended called Serafina on Broadway! It was really yummy, I had the Gnocchi which I liked, but mom ordered the spinach and ricotta ravioli which was outstanding. That dish was our favorite that we tried there!


    That night we saw Wicked on Broadway which was AMAZING. I was just blown away by the talent, the story line, the costumes and props…just everything!

    We were on the very front row so we could hear everyones voice distinctly in the ensemble which was really cool.

    I didn’t know much about the story line going in but I loved it. Wicked is a classic for a reason so GO SEE IT. You won’t be disappointed!

    After the show we took and Uber to Serendipity 3 which is famous for their HUGE and delicious desserts and it did not disappoint. Like everything in New York it is pricey, but worth it for the calorie and money splurge. My mouth is watering just thinking about that Sunday! So yummy.


    First thing Saturday morning, we took an Uber to Central Park. I can definitely see how living in the city would make you want to escape to this scenic place! It was the warmest day of the trip and sunny, such a pretty morning for a stroll! We went to The Loeb Boathouse for breakfast (per my sister in law’s recommendation for the view!) but the main part was closed for renovation. Since we still had chocolate hangovers from the night before, we just grabbed a small bite to eat and coffee at the express cafe attached to the restaurant.


    We walked to The Met from Central Park and it was probably one of my highlights of the while trip! I have always been fascinated by Egyptian history and the Egyptian wing of The Met was just fascinating. I could have stayed in there for hours and in the entire museum all day! We stayed for about 3 hours and took in everything we could!








    After The Met, we went to SoHo and ate some authentic New York pizza at a place called Joe’s Pizza, per our Uber driver’s recommendation and it was delicious!












    After that we shopped around the West Village area and then took and Uber to Chinatown. They were happy to see us and knew exactly what we came for–purses!

    That night we did more shopping, and went to Junior’s for dinner in Times Square. Junior’s is famous for their cheesecake and so we ate dinner there, and got our cheesecake to go and took it back to our hotel. We ordered the chocolate mousse cheesecake, the original, and the red velvet cheesecake–they ALL were divine. So good!

    And that concludes our whirlwind trip to NYC! We had the best time being together and exploring the city! Next time we want to be sure to make it to the 9/11 memorial, the Museum of Modern Art, more shopping (of course) and maybe even Hamilton one day!

    I am certainly no expert but if you have any questions about our trip or are planning your own trip to NYC, let me know! I’d love to talk about it.

    Also you’re a champ if you made it through this whole post because it is LONG. 🙂




    Mary Margaret

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